For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Karla Leandri Rider
Executive Director
Phone: (207) 647-2828
Email address:
January 3, 2021 - BRIDGTON, ME – The Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity in Bridgton has been awarded a grant for conservation and restoration of the ceiling of the parlor in the ca. 1790 Nathan Church House, one of two historic homes that comprise its current museum campus and one of Bridgton's oldest surviving buildings.

The museum has received $2,500 from the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust of Portland. Grant funding will be used to hire Tony Castro of Tony Castro & Company, a historic painting and plaster restoration professional, to remove the cloth wallpaper bands from the ceiling of the parlor of the Nathan Church House as well as restore the plaster underneath the cloth.

The parlor contains Rufus Porter School landscape murals that are among the few examples of this technique still on display in situ. The museum has recognized the need to preserve the historic and artistic value of these walls ever since it acquired the Church House in 2005. With exterior renovations completed a few year ago, including new clapboards and storm windows, the next step to ensuring that this local gem will be available to the public in perpetuity is to address the condition of the ceiling.  

"We are truly grateful to have the continued support of the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust" said Karla Leandri Rider, Executive Director. "The Trust recognizes the importance of our mission to celebrate Rufus Porter's legacy and preserve it for the community and for generations to come."

Additional funding for this project was previously obtained from other grant sources.
About the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust
Margaret E. Burnham (1903-1994) was a life-long resident of Falmouth with interests in history, proper English, poetry and politics. The Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust was established to benefit nonprofit organizations located, operating and serving within the State of Maine. To respond to the needs of the Maine communities it serves, the Trust is dedicated to funding five areas of interest: community and social services, medical, education, arts and Culture, and the environment.
About the Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity
Founded in 2005, the Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity, located in Bridgton, Maine, features the history of a remarkable 19th century New Englander, Rufus Porter (1792-1884). Porter is well-known in the folk art community for his landscape murals and miniature portraits, however, Porter was more than just a painter. He was the founding publisher and editor of the magazine Scientific American as well as inventor, writer, teacher, and more. The museum is dedicated to capturing and sharing with the public Porter’s uniquely American blend of creativity, ingenuity, practicality, and energy by exploring the world and era in which he lived and worked.

Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity | 121 Main Street / P. O. Box 544, Bridgton ME 04009 | 207.647.2828 | |